Saturday, 4 May 2013

The ones that got away

Shopping is a tricky business. If you covet an item for long enough, the chances are that you'll be pretty chuffed when you buy it. The world is also full of things that you might buy on impulse and then regret it afterwards.

But then, sometimes you see things and resist the urge to impulse buy. And then you regret it, forever.

I didn't buy the following items. But I know that my life would have been enriched by them:

A purple leather jacket with the imagine of an elephant on the back - I was 15, and it would have blown my holiday budget until, well, the age I am now. But I still regret not doing it.

Platform trainers in the sale - I was roughly the same age as with the item above. They weren't very much. But for some reason, I didn't; leaving me to forever regret not taking the opportunity when the Spice Girls were cool and I was young enough to carry it off.

A bullwhip: Another holiday regret (although shopping that got away often is; it's not like you're going to be around tomorrow to rectify your mistake). The bullwhip wasn't going to be for me, but for my nephew. I convinced myself that being a cool auntie wouldn't be worth the havoc to my sister's household. I think I may have been wrong.

The worst rendition of the Last Supper known to humankind: This was in a street market in a small town near Port Elizabeth. Someone had decided to turn da Vinci's masterpiece into one of those hologram painting jobbies; if you tilted it, Christ and His disciples appeared to wave their arms. It had been done in super-garish colours. The piece de resistance was a small clock positioned in the top right hand corner. It was too big to carry around, too big to fit on the place. But, really, what are practical considerations compared to the talking point it would have been for the rest of my life?

Hitler alarm clock: This one, I have mixed feelings towards. It was a cheap, old fashioned alarm clock with bells and a hammer, on sale in a tacky resort in Bulgaria. What made it a standout item was the picture of Adolf doing a Nazi salute on the front. What you want to wake up to. Part of me wanted to buy it because of the outstanding bad taste it embodied. But then, I don't think any normal, sane person would want to sell Hitler alarm clocks, and I was worried that people getting them for ironic reasons would mean that more were produced, and more being produced would mean more people buying them who would be genuinely happy with the Fuhrer bidding them a Guten Morgen.

So, do you have anything you regret not buying?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, but they're not nearly as interesting as yours.

    My main purchasing regret was a wooden, carved replica of a huia, an extinct NZ bird with a long curved beak. The carving was absolutely beautiful. It was also very expensive, but I know we would have cherished it.

    Other regrets - that I didn't buy (and wear) bikinis when I would still have looked good in them. Sigh.

    Other than that - I'm pretty good. I rarely buy things when I travel. Can't be bothered with the hassle of getting them home on long flights. EXCEPT for art. Much of our art has been bought overseas. So that reminds me of my other main regret. I saw a painting in Hanoi. It was a bit pricy, but I could afford it, though with a good helping of regret. I was on a business trip, and knew I had the following afternoon free, and decided I'd come back (after looking around a bit more) and buy this painting (I can't even remember what the painting was). The next day, a tropical downpour for several hours meant I wasn't going anywhere. (Not just cos I'd get soaked, but because the roads blocked up, traffic was diabolical, there was major flooding, etc etc). So I never got back to buy my painting.